HOA Meeting Minutes Annual Budget
Board Members in Attendance: J.J. Gentry, Jan Talkish, Jeremy Catoe, O’Neil Gilliam, David Bergeron
Board Members Absent: 0
Attendees: 14 Residents and David Peterson, CEO of Halcyon Services
Purpose: To discuss the overall budget for the community and expectations for the coming year. Copies of the final budget were handed out to all in attendance – additional copies may be acquired from the Halcyon Office (401 Western Ln Suite 8B, Irmo, SC).
Board of Directors Introduction: Members of the Board introduced themselves and briefly discussed how long they had lived in CHP as well as their years of involvement on the HOA Board:
J.J Gentry – J.J. has been a Board member for 20 years and has been the Board President during his entire tenure. J.J. states that as of December 31st of this year, he will no longer be the President of the Board, as the Presidency will now be rotated among the Board members.
O’Neill Gilliam - O’Neill has been a Board member for 10 years, and is the Landscaping Chair. As of January 1, 2020, he will be the new Board President.
Jan Talkish - Jan has been a Board member for 17 years, and is the Clubhouse Chair
Jeremy Catoe - Jeremy has been a Board member for two years, and due to family obligations, he will be retiring from the Board at the end of this year. During his tenure, Jeremy has overseen a number of new projects and worked on improving community involvement.
David Bergeron - David has been a Board member for a few months, and is also a member of the Communications and Social Committees.
J.J. Gentry reminded those in attendance that the HOA Board is made up of residents who volunteer their time and energy on top of their full-time jobs, and do so because of their love of the neighborhood. J.J. expressed that the HOA Board is always looking for new members. If you are interested in joining the HOA Board, please email the existing Board members via the CHP website: www.chpsc.org
J.J. also stated that the Board is looking for individuals who would like to become Neighborhood Representatives. Years ago, there was a Representative system in place, however it died out. The Board would like to see it reestablished. If you would like to be a neighborhood representative, please contact the Board for additional information.
J.J. would also like to see more individuals volunteering for the various committees within the neighborhood. Current established committees include:
The Social Committee
The Communications Committee
The Pool Committee
The Trails Committee.
Occasionally, special committees are established to cover short-term projects.
If you are interested in joining a committee, please contact the Board, and they will get you in touch with the right people.
Order of Business: Highlights of changes/repairs/improvements over the past year (2019), and expectations for the coming year (2020) will be presented by the Board members.
Following the highlights, David Peterson, CEO of Halcyon, will go over the budget for 2020.
Attending residents are invited to ask questions during the evening’s discussion.
Residents are reminded that this is a financial/budget meeting only, and that neighborhood or homeowner issues may be discussed with Board members following the meeting or at one of the monthly meetings.
Clubhouse – Jan Talkish Reporting:
2019: Jan reports that this past year has been a banner year for the clubhouse as far as rentals - 135 in total, which is more than any previous year.
Cameras that were added to the interior of the building are helping her with the enforcement of contract rules, the most frequent problem being the removal of furniture from the interior of the building. As of this date, Jan has collected $600.00 in fines from clubhouse renters who failed to follow the rental contract rules. Cameras have been a huge help when it comes to maintaining the financial investment that has been placed in the clubhouse.
New, round dining room tables and chairs were ordered to replace the oval sets, which have seen much wear. Lighting within the interior of the clubhouse, and on the outside perimeter of the building, has been switched out to more cost efficient LED lighting.
The major rule for renting the clubhouse is that residents must be current with their dues, or they lose their amenities privileges. This includes renting the clubhouse. This year, Jan recouped $2000.00 in unpaid HOA dues from residents wanting to rent the facility.
2020: The four high-back chairs and ottomans are scheduled to be re-stuffed and reupholstered in the next couple of months. Jan will also be purchasing new lamps and fixtures for the interior, to spruce the place up a bit. A new, surround sound stereo system will be added to the interior.
Now that we have confirmed fiber optic Internet cable to the clubhouse, Jan and the Board are working with AT&T to establish better Internet service, and hope to have an Internet guest sign-in code in place before the end of January.
Lighting for the exterior clubhouse steps will be redone this year. Parking lot lines will be repainted.
Question: Who cleans the windows at the clubhouse? Some renters have complained of smudged/dirty exterior windows when hosting events.
Cleaning crews clean inside after every rental, and occasionally they clean the outside. Unfortunately, due to people looking inside the clubhouse when it is locked, windows are subject to handprints from the outside. If you have rented the clubhouse, and you notice that the windows need cleaning prior to your event, please let Jan know.
Question: What is causing the parking lot hole?
The hole of the entrance of the parking lot appears to be caused by underground tree roots, which are shifting the dirt under the pavement and causing the hole to continually erode. In order to repair the hole for good, it’s possible that a tree or two may need to be removed. At the very least, the hole will be patched for the short-term this coming year.
Jan may be reached via the CHP website at: https://chestnuthillplantation.org/contact-chestnut-hill-plantation/
Pool – Jeremy Catoe Reporting:
2019: In early 2019, the Pool Committee was reestablished, and members were involved in all pool aspects.
The major pool project of 2019 was the resurfacing and expansion of the pool deck. After previously granting an extension to make necessary repairs, DHEC (the Department of Health and Environmental Control), decreed that all repairs had be finished before pool season of 2019 or the pool would be unable to open. Clearwater Pool Company of Columbia was hired to do the repairs and expansion, and they did a fantastic job! Extensions to the concrete deck were added at the back of the pool, and at the side of the pool, per DHEC, to make required safety space between chairs and the pool itself. The Board is very happy with the results.
A new pool management company, Carolina Pool Management of Columbia, was hired, and we have seen excellent results from this company. The biggest change to the pool was switching from full-time lifeguards to weekday pool attendants and lifeguards on weekends and busy holidays. A sign-in sheet policy was also implemented to make sure that only residents were accessing the pool, and it was very successful.
The old pool pump system failed and died in July, so a new pump was needed. The Board feared the pool season would be cut short, but Carolina Pool Company rose to the challenge, upgraded the pump system, and had the pool running again within a week.
Despite hopes to keep the pool restrooms open and available for residents using the tennis courts, playground, etc. over the winter season, water to the restrooms needed to be shut off due to an unexpected hard freeze that hit the area in November. Currently, all pool gates are locked, but the Board hopes to reopen the restrooms in the Spring.
The baby pool pump also died. This has been addressed and the baby pool will be ready for the upcoming pool season. New sand was put in all the filters, so residents will see clearer water when the pools reopen. The septic tank for the clubhouse and the pool has been relined, and a new pump has been installed. Everything is working better.
Due to requests from residents, the pool season was extended to the end of September. This was an experimental extension, dependent upon how much the pool was used, and how well residents took care of the pool facility as the attendants and lifeguards were no longer contracted. The pool was well attended, and well cared for by all who enjoyed it during the extended season, so the Board may renew the additional time in the coming year.
2020: A new shed will be built on the far side of the pool, specifically for the storage of pool furniture and chemicals.
Skimmers on the main pool are not working well and will be checked and repaired prior to the start of the pool season.
The Pool Committee will be looking for additional volunteers in the Spring. If you are interested in joining the Pool Committee, please contact Jeremy at: https://chestnuthillplantation.org/contact-chestnut-hill-plantation/
Question: Who hires the pool attendants and lifeguards?
Carolina Pool Management Company of Columbia does all hiring.
Question: Who do we (residents) talk to about pool attendants/lifeguards not doing their jobs? According to residents, last year that there were some issues at the pool (kids dropped off without adult supervision, people leaving messes, etc.) and one of the attendants did not address the issues.
The Board suggests that residents contact Halcyon if they have any issues regarding the pool attendants, lifeguards, or rules not being followed by residents or guests.
Other Amenities – J.J. Gentry Reporting:
2019: J.J. wished to point out that a lot of work goes into the establishment and maintenance of the community trails, and that the Trail Committee, headed by Ward Squires, is completely volunteer driven.
A new trail was established through the woods next to Grove Hall Lane (across from the lake boat ramp area and up the hill), which leads to the small pond located behind the Grove Hall Lane cul-de-sac. The HOA Board originally thought that there was public access to the lake between houses in the cul-de-sac, but after a new resident in the cul-de sac asked for a review of property lines, it was discovered that there was no public access. Finding that people were essentially trespassing across this resident’s (and other residents’) property, the Board set about to create the new trail. Parking is available in the boat ramp loop or parking lot (with key access).
Along the trails, evidence was discovered of campfires. Also, rope swings have been found along the river to allow swinging over the water. The Board would like to remind residents that these are NOT allowed.
It was discovered at the river boat ramp gate area that some people had managed to drive a vehicle through the wooden posts, so cables had to be installed to deter that from happening again.
During this year, we saw increased communication with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources communication and the Columbia Police Department, in regard to maintaining safety and stopping poaching in the conservation areas.
A small, neighborhood lending library was established at the gazebo on the lake, and has been a huge success.
2020: This year, the Trail Committee plans to work on a new river trail with scenic overlook areas. Existing trails will continue to be cleared and cleaned to encourage more accessibility. The HOA Board and the Communications Committee are still exploring applications that can be used to map out all the trails so physical maps can be printed and/or made available on the CHP website. The Board is also looking into naming each trail and getting new trail markers, which will help make hiking in the neighborhood easier for residents. More people are now using the trails, which helps prevent issues and problems in the wooded areas. The Board would like to remind all residents (and their guests) to please use all trails responsibly, and to report any problems as you find/see them.
The wooden deck overlook at the boat ramp on the Broad River is in need of repairs. The Board wants to hire a structural engineer to look it over, and see what can be done to repair or replace it.
Lakes and ponds have undergone fertilization programs to prevent algae and improve the water for the fish. Crappie fish are currently taking over the large lake within the community, so the Board asks that people began aggressively fishing the lake. If the crappies are allowed to overtake the lake, they will destroy the bass population. All crappies that are caught can either be eaten (very tasty according to J.J. and Jeremy) or they can be transferred to the small ponds around the clubhouse, where they can travel between ponds and the river (all are connected by underground pipes).
We look forward to continued communication with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the Columbia Police Department, in the coming year. Both agencies encourage residents to reach out to them if they have information about illegal activities (such as poaching, fires, etc.)
The Board also plans to extend the partial concrete boat ramp on the neighborhood lake.
Playground repairs and replacement of broken equipment and fencing will take place this are included in this year’s budget.
Necessary repairs and replacements to the tennis courts will take place this year.
J.J. may be reached via the CHP website at: https://chestnuthillplantation.org/contact-chestnut-hill-plantation/
Question: Has the HOA ever thought of placing benches around the ponds or near the river?
In the coming year, the HOA would like to put in some benches and or swings, depending upon the budget. All benches and swings would be anchored with concrete to prevent theft.
Landscaping - O’Neil Gilliam Reporting:
2019: New, cost efficient LED lights, as well as electrical outlets, have been installed at all of the neighborhood signs. New up-angle lights have also been installed at the back entrance trees. New holiday decorations were purchased for all neighborhood signs after dust and dirt from the paving project pretty much destroyed the old decorations.
DHEC pointed out two areas of concern that needed attention in the neighborhood – one on Grove Hall and the other on Gauley. Workers had to remove some trees that could possibly damage the dams. During the tree removal process, the Trails Committee took advantage of the clearing and established the back trail.
The Lost Creek Drive road project finally came to an end, and the Board wished to express their thanks to the City of Columbia, who helped the Board helped with contractor issues.
During the pool extension, grass and sod had to be removed to make way for paving. O’Neil had hoped to use this sod in other areas of the neighborhood (to save HOA funds), but was unable to do so.
2020: The community has roughly 14 acres of grass, flowers, trees, and bushes which needs tending, so the landscaping company works 52 weeks a year. The HOA has retained the current landscaping company for weekly service, and has also hired companies to supply pine straw and fertilizer. Some of the chemicals used to make plants healthier were switched.
The lights along the walkway at the clubhouse are slated to be replaced this year.
Neighborhood signs, which have been damaged by mineral deposits from the irrigations system, will be removed, cleaned, and repainted in January.
The pump house will undergo a major renovation. The grass was wilting between irrigations, and it was discovered that pump in the housing was pumping mud. This is possibly due to a beaver attack on the footer at the pump house. Mud will be removed from the housing, and metal pipes will be replaced with PVC. The repairs will start taking place in January. These repairs and renovations will help improve the irrigation.
O’Neil has one Wish List project on his agenda – he hopes to clear the brush and establish mowing on the Lost Creek Drive hill, just past the lake parking area. This will provide better visibility for drivers as they come around the curve, heading up the hill.
O’Neil may be reached via the CHP website at: https://chestnuthillplantation.org/contact-chestnut-hill-plantation/
Question: Residents have heard that there is more paving due to be done in the neighborhood, is this true?
According to the city, there is money remaining from the Lost Creek Drive paving project, and they want to do repaving and repairs on some of the side streets, if possible. Pond Oak and the Bluff are areas of concern. Core sampling has already been done on those streets. The city of Columbia is not sure which contractor they will be hiring, but they are pretty sure it will not be the contractor that worked on Lost Creek Drive, as the city was displeased with them.
Committees – David Bergeron Reporting:
2019: The Social Committee strives to put on four events per year, trying to be as inclusive as possible. This spring, the Nerf War was held on the great field. Despite an unusually hot day, it was a good turnout, and the Social Committee was very pleased with the company that hosted the event. The summer Movie Night was also a big hit.
By popular demand, an oyster roast was held in the fall. Despite an unexpected oyster shortage at the time, the Social Committee managed to pull off the event, which was enjoyed by all attendees.
The December Holiday Drop-In, with Santa, crafts, and refreshments, was also a big hit.
2020: The Social Committee would like more input from the community about events, as this will help them make decisions in the coming year. Please contact Linda Catoe on the unofficial Facebook page or via the CHP website: https://chestnuthillplantation.org/contact-chestnut-hill-plantation/
The budget for the social committee will be about the same in 2020 as it was in 2019.
2019: One of the biggest complaints within the neighborhood was that the prior CHP website was out of date, and lacked information that residents needed within the neighborhood. The Communications Committee was established, and a new website, which was all-inclusive for the neighborhood, was developed and published. The website can be reached at www.chpsc.org
The Communications Committee ordered 2 self-standing message boards, to be placed at each entrance. It is hoped that with additional notice of meetings and activities, there will be more resident involvement.
The Communications Committee runs on a minimal budget which maintains the website and funds that may be needed to make sign repairs.
2020: In 2020 there will be continued work on the website to keep it fresh and current with information.
The message boards are slated to be installed in the spring. Currently, members of the HOA Board and David Bergeron (also of the Communication committee) are deciding on the best placement of the message boards for easy viewing as residents pass by them in their vehicles. The message boards will be maintained by the members of the Communications Committee.
One popular aspect of the new website is a blog. While the Communications Committee posts the majority of blogs, submissions from CHP residents are always welcome.
On a side note, the HOA Board would like to remind residents that the current Facebook page is not run by the HOA or the Communications committee, but by a private entity.
Budget Presentation by David Peterson, CEO of Halcyon Residential Services:
All attendees to tonight’s meeting were given a copy of the balance sheet and budget. The budget will also be posted to the CHP website, within the notes being transcribed. Any resident who would like to have a hard copy of the budget sheets may obtain copies from the Halcyon office.
Every year, the HOA Board reviews the prior year’s budget, and uses it as a working template for the upcoming year. The Board met for 4 to 5 hours in October to go over all of the accounts, discuss needs, money, etc. The first thing they did was write up a list of needed items and repairs, then a wish list. The major goals of the HOA Board were to:
- Make sure that there is a balanced budget going into 2020.
- Avoid, if possible, increasing HOA dues.
- Make sure that there are reserve funds for emergencies.
The community is getting older (25+ years) and the Board has to make contingency plans for the long run. In 2019, the HOA had a strong, balanced budget, and going forward, the HOA has a good amount of money in reserves for emergencies.
Financially, the HOA is in a good place.
Prior to going over the balance sheet and copy of the budget, David announced that the HOA had experienced a very good year in 2019, as the company was able to recoup money on foreclosures.
At this point in the meeting, David proceeded to go over the HOA’s budget balance sheet and 2020 Budget, line by line, explaining each expenditure.
Attendees were invited to pose questions during the presentation.
Question: Regarding bad debt, foreclosures and such - does the collected money come back to the HOA?
If the bank pursues a foreclosure, they get the money collected; if the HOA pursues it, then the HOA gets the money.
Question: What is the difference between the special projects fund and the reserve fund?
Special projects funds go toward planned projects or repairs (i.e. the new pool shed). Money held in reserve goes toward the infrastructure, especially for emergency projects. Reserve money is not used for special projects, or wish list items.
As there were no other budget/financial questions, the Board called the meeting to an end, and reminded those in attendance that the next regularly scheduled Monthly HOA Meeting would be held on Monday, January 27, 2020, at 6:30pm.
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to all!
Meeting End: 8:15pm
Minutes reviewed and authorized by: David Bergeron, HOA Board
Renée Cabaup/Comm. Comm.